New answers tagged

2

Lets begin with the armor itself. Not only is front-only infantry armor effective, but it is ideal. Many ancient civilizations preferred this style of armor, even when cost was not an issue. A soldier can only be combat effective if they are not overburdened. By eliminating back-armor, you cut out half of the armor's weight. This allows you to armor ...


1

I'm a neighbouring city lacking manpower. My enemy has just thrown thousands of unwilling soldier slaves at my city. I welcome them with open arms, promise them their own house or even repatriation to their homeland where possible in exchange for their services. I watch as my new army with higher morale than they had when they attacked us and better armed ...


3

As noted in this answer, a shield wall will be more effective and cheaper. In undergrouond caves you might need to modify both the formation and the shield size, but you don't need to provide 100% protection in the scenario you're describing. Your commander doesn't mind if some slaves get injured or killed so long as the wall holds. Long spears are ...


4

You would think a shield wall would be more practical. The guy in front of you dies, pick up his section of the shield and keep pushing the wall. The real soldiers stand farther back and stab the enemy with spears, if any slaves refuse to push the wall, they get the same treatment with the spears. Corpses are removed, and since they have no armor it is ...


1

As you said, 'Diplomat' is good, but it's kind of a catch-all for anyone who does this type of work. There are apparently ranks within the general designation of Diplomat though, including Ambassador, Minister, High Commissioner, Counsellor and Envoy. (found on wikipedia here) If you're looking for something a little less real world I'd suggest Negotiator ...


4

Your official who represents the concerns of the citizenry can be an ombudsman. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ombudsman The typical duties of an ombudsman are to investigate complaints and attempt to resolve them, usually through recommendations (binding or not) or mediation... At the national level, most ombudsmen have a wide mandate to deal with ...


3

There is only one vulnerability that I can think of: whips. A bull-whip, thrown in such a way that it will wrap around the body and strike the side facing away from the thrower, can be a serious weapon. When a whip wraps, all the linear momentum (mass x velocity) is transferred into angular momentum (mass x velocity x radius) and the resulting hit has much ...


0

Imperial China had the title of "Grand Secretary". They replaced the earlier position of chancellor. Basically a Secretaries job was to screen which documents/papers from the different ministries where sent to the Empreror. This gave them tremendous power since they could selectively pick which documents to send to the Emperor or draft their own. You could ...


5

In the Holy Roman Empire, the Prince Electors, the highest after the emperor, held the titles: Arch-Steward (or Arch-Seneschal), Arch-Chamberlain, Arch-Marshal, and Arch-Butler. These all originate in the offices of a royal household, but all save the Butler have since lost most of their connotations with domesticity and could fill in for a title of a sort ...


4

Shogun or Regent The problem with this arrangement is that such position involves an enormous amount of power, eclipsing the power of Emperor himself. Anyone who has an authority to negotiate on behalf of an empire has special powers. Anyone who is the primary authority for all negotiations, both domestic and international becomes the primary authority of ...


1

When Cardinal Richelieu was "first minister" or "chief minister" of France, he delegated specific duties (of the sort described in the original post) to intendants. Envoys, consuls, and ambassadors are also possibilities. In the Roman Republic, the two consuls were normally the highest officials. Ambassadors plenipotentiary are theoretically the most ...


1

Councillors, especially Privy Councillors. These are persons who regularly confer with the ruler in confidence, and who can be expected to both speak the ruler's mind and carry messages back directly to the ruler. Agents, especially Agentes in Rebus. These are persons who have been designated by the ruler to "look into matters" -- whatever matters the ruler ...


5

Have you considered such titles as: Plenipotentiary Legate Deputy Arbitrator Consul Proconsul Nuncio Internuncio Attaché Premier Factotum Procurator Proctor


7

Historically, these kinds of duties would likely fall to the Vizier or Chancellor or Prime Minister. Looks like you'll be wanting to come with some title names other than, e.g. "commander of war". Given your constraints, Chancellor might work well. Or alternatively, Viceroy.


0

It works, but for a more sinister reason In the Russian Army in WWII, they had serious problems with logistics. They lacked guns, ammunition, artillery, equipment, basically everything needed to win a war. However, they did have one thing. Numbers. So Stalin came up with what he considered to be a reasonable plan - just keeping throwing conscripts at the ...


1

In the modern age, I doubt there is a single individual who would handle both foreign and domestic diplomacy, however what you are really describing is a person who can act on the King's behalf in the King's absence. The word for such a person is... "Proxy"


5

the slave mass can be effective offense if they can enlarge or dig new tunnel since the slave advantage is their mass, otherwise dealing with veteran will increase the dead body to choke or block the tunnel (effective for defense at least) but pretty much a waste. since the battle happen in narrow tunnel using gas or heat can also spread to friend unit so ...


1

The only thing that will stop this slaves from rebelion is promise of freedom for survivors (for sure evil ruler can simply execute them after war). Flawed armor becomes unflawed when they turn around. Nevertheless I have solution: arm regular forces with gas masks and slaves with none. Rebelion? Throw gas. Question is how hard it is to get much of gas in ...


2

You might find a way to modify Archimedes' heat ray for your purposes. Essentially, one or more mirrors would be used to reflect sunlight (or light from another source, I suppose) to illuminate a given location. Further, you could use a series of lenses to magnify or diffuse the light as needed.


-1

With a lot of vinegar (for the batter and pickles), it is theoretically possible to produce enough electricity to make a pickle (or any other material that glows hot from electric resistance, like a non-flammable thread) glow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aab8VjzuXyM https://www.scienceworld.ca/resources/activities/vinegar-batteries


-1

As some of the comments have hinted, "fire" is more general than you think. If fire doesn't work any more, it's extremely unlikely that life can work either -- fire is based on (exothermic) oxidation, convection (which is based on gas laws and gravity), and radiant energy. Take away any of those things, and you're left with an environment that bears no ...


1

Some ideas for light sources that do not involve lighting something on fire: Bioluminescence (Fire flies in a jar, jellyfish in a jar) The moon or sun with a mirror network to redirect light. Chemical reactions that give off light, for example Zinc Atoms and Nitrous Oxide: When zinc atoms react with nitrous oxide, N2O, the reaction is chemiluminescent.


-1

There are natural rocks that glow in the dark (after charged from other light). https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/09/17/michigan-man-discovers-strange-glowing-rocks-in-the-upper-peninsula/#2f1544d723ff If your world has these rocks readily available, it's possible that fire for light wasn't really a need at all.


2

On medieval tech? It's a very simple answer: no. Just about every answer above involves tech well beyond the medieval period, or ways of producing light that don't actually produce enough light to be of any use. Sounds like you're reliant on magic, short of handwavium like "Koomatka fruit glow with a bright bluish-green light, and are widely used for ...


-1

Radioluminescence This is not a medieval technology but i can't see a real no-go technological limitation for that era. Radioluminescent light sources usually consist of a radioactive substance mixed with, or in proximity to, a phosphor. The only issue is the low light intensity.


0

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphorus was discovered in the 17th century, and by an alchemist trying to produce a philosophers stone so might fit with the time period. You'd still want to burn it though so depending on your definition of 'fire' it may not count. It burns with a brilliant white light iirc, so would at least look completely different to ...


6

Glow in the dark paint. The brightest glow in the dark paint is supposed to be visible in the dark for 30 hours, which is plenty to get your peasants through the night. A lamp like this would be clearly visible and would not require fire or electricity. Just charge it up during the day, and the photoluminescence should go all night. According to ...


1

Magma emits a very beautiful light at night. Might be helpful if you don't mind living near a volcano. You may even scoop some lava from a nearby volcano and hold it in a ceramic or tugsten container, making your very own lava lamp (drumroll). And while you may not have fire, if you scratch two iron rods really hard you still have sparks. One could crete ...


6

During daytime, they can use glass bottles with water, plugged in holes in roof as sort of light bulbs for home illumination. https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-a-SOLAR-BOTTLE-BULB/ Also with systems of mirrors and lenses its possible to illuminate, for example, cellars and mines using light of Sun. Unfortunately, at night, you have to use ...


2

There are a few natural sources of light, which could be harnessed if you really need to. Lightning produce light. If lightning storms are something common in your setting, it's not unthinkable that someone (maybe with some help from magic) has learnt to harness such power to use as light source. Not sure realistic, but hey, it's a magical world... Sparks. ...


-1

Well, it's certainly not historical, but it might be doable with tech that they could have used. A Mercury lamp. If handed the requirements I can't think of any step that is impossible, though admittedly improbable and no reason for them to invent the tech themselves. Glass tubing -- Difficult, but at least possible - would be very expensive in comparison ...


1

Bioluminescent fungi aka foxfire. It's nowhere near bright enough to be a torchlight, but you may be able to have it cultured brighter. A specific one would the bitter oyster fungus. (Tastes nasty, apparently.)


2

Hammered iron. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXF60MOWUeY Cold iron can be hammered until it is glowing red hot. That is a little bit of light. Also the hammering throws off sparks which also produce some light. Not sure anyone is going to read a book with light like this but it might be a cool thing for a story - someone whaling on an iron rod until it ...


0

If a caster depends only on their accumulating skill, then the magic growth could be linear. $P=kt$ But, magic can be used by a caster to impose discipline on themselves. Magic would grow in relationship to its current power, thus it would grow exponentially. $P=ke^{jt}$ The actual rate of growth hardly matters, since with exponential growth all arrows ...


26

In terms of what was known before, say, the 18th century, there were very limited sources of what we'd normally consider rather dim light, but fire wasn't the absolutely only light source (not counting the sun, moon -- as it was thought to give its own light in pre-Renaissance times -- and stars). Glowing insects were the commonest, and brightest. ...


1

One could heat a well-insulated mass of metal by using a solar mirror, and then use the black-body glow of the metal when the sun goes down. You could get yellow light at sunset, fading to a deep, soft red as the metal cooled. The insulation would be layered, with porous pottery at the innermost layer and something more like horsehair on the outside. ...


14

Proper medieval artificial light sources rely only on fire, or on trapped fireflies. Though it is not exactly a medieval technology, really dedicated alchemists (and a twist in the story) might come with the invention of the glowing sticks. A glow stick is a self-contained, short-term light-source. It consists of a translucent plastic tube containing ...


0

There are several excellent examples on how to do it, above, but frankly the short version is this: ditch the modern-day romanticized Western shibboleth that religious leaders are supposed to be unworldly pacifists, and see them as most every other era and land did -- temporal rulers with their own power bases, goals, issues and methods. (Not that Western ...


2

Consider Japan during the Age of Exploration. This example suggests that the key was not geographic isolation but a strong government that could and did reject contact. In Medieval times, there were even more countries which managed to resist colonization. An interesting question here is if the spread of Christianity and Islam would be colonization. ...


0

I would focus on two important aspects the kingdoms share a lot of their culture and that they are medieval kingdoms so lets assume they are feudal states. This means she does not have to conquer and occupy the kingdoms (with associated loss of life and resources) but only make them her vassals. To force a king to bend a knee or if he is unwilling to ...


2

This is almost exactly the situation of the Warring States period of Chinese history. The State of Qin conquered 6 other states, that all were not significantly weaker. The reason they were conquered is because Qin played them against each other: promising to split the lands of some nation with another nation, before turning on that nation. The only way to ...


1

The entire Cold War modern era is driven by this concept of conquering "buffer States" that then fight wars by proxy so the major powers don't have to fight themselves directly. This obviously wouldn't work in a Kingdom-State style ancient or medieval setting because individual principalities are too small to enforce the buffer. If the main State involved ...


1

Not to say this is always a good idea, but the Macedonian Empire is one example where this worked very well. Alexander the great conquered Greece, then used the conquered peoples to bring down the much larger Persian Empire. So, what factors are important here? 1 - The people you conquer need to hate your common enemy more than they hate being conquered. ...


3

In Medieval times many bishops became secular nobles and thus vassals of higher lords. So that meant that in times of war they were required to provide warriors; knights, men at arms, mercenaries, and armed peasants, etc., to their overlord's army and and sometimes lead them in battle. Secular nobles, including the ones who were also bishops and ...


12

I think you're only having this problem because you're too focused on Christian history and, as many others have commented, even that is full of religious leaders with big armies. The history of East Asia is absolutely STUFFED with examples of militant religious organizations, with Shaolin being the most notable example. If you want more current examples, ...


3

Like always, it is good to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. For all of humanity's history, the most important thing is power. Since personal power without magic or chi or handwavium is rather limited, power comes from control. Control of masses in the middle ages, since cold weapons were limited force multipliers. Control has many ways. ...


2

But I've run into a pickle: trying to justify these bishops having armies in the first place. Well, something like this has happened in the past: an armed confrontation between the men of an Abbot and the men of a bishop - The Goslar Precedence Dispute Granted, this was not an all-out war with armies, it was merely a small skirmish. However, Wikipedia ...


32

Prince Bishops were a real thing in medieval and early modern Europe, mostly in the Germanies and Italy. The bishop of Rome, whom the western Catholics call the Pope and we eastern Orthodox call the Patriarch of the West, is still, in our days, a sovereign prince and still commands armed forces. Prince bishops were bishop and they were princes; as princes, ...


8

The bishops have both temporal and spiritual powers. You may think of bishops as clergy, but the church was a major landowner. In addition to that, some bishops were ex officio nobles. Consider the Prince-Electors of the Holy Roman Empire. Four of them were secular, three were ecclesiastical. In their role as nobles, the bishops and archbishops could ...


9

History has already answered your question, during the Münster rebellion The Münster rebellion was an attempt by radical Anabaptists to establish a communal sectarian government in the German city of Münster. The city was under Anabaptist rule from February 1534, when the city hall was seized and Bernhard Knipperdolling installed as mayor, until its ...


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